RMMV 'Grim Mortality' Damage and Pain Framework

Discussion in 'Ideas and Prototypes' started by EmperorEnema, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. EmperorEnema

    EmperorEnema Warper Member

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    Ay all

    For my up-and-coming mature post-apoc & cyberpunk adventure/action/psychological CTB RPG, I'm looking to add more layers into combat to supplement how frequent said combat is through the game. One of my primary ideas that I have been fleshing out over the last few weeks has been a detailed damage and pain system (coined the 'Grim Mortality' framework, by myself) in which would make combat far more enjoyable at any stage of a common battle, without introducing needless frustration and/or tedium.

    Summarisation

    Full Proposal/Outline
    • Wound

    • Localisations
    The next component is a tad more questionable and perhaps harder to add - it elicits the most potential 'tedium', however;
    • Dolorimetry Limit of 10

      • Thanks for reading!
    That's all I've got so far. As far as ambiguous game design outlines go, I believe this has the potential to become a functional 'frame' of sorts, but I would very much appreciate any feedback, opinions or critique at this stage. Likewise, any amendments or suggestions you could give would be extremely helpful.
     
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  2. Soryuju

    Soryuju Combat Balance Enthusiast Veteran

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    You’ve clearly put a lot of thought and effort into designing this system, though honestly, I’m concerned that some aspects seem overdesigned. It’s clear that you’ve made a strong commitment to a realistic system of injuries and stress, and that’s an excellent goal, but it could be daunting for players to learn all of the various ways which Injuries, Localizations, and Dolorimetry can interact. For instance, how quickly do you think your average player will be able to evaluate the effects on a character who has a Mutilated Arm, a Punctured Chest, base Dolorimetry 7, -Bleed, +Pain, and Severe+? I’ve read over your descriptions several times now, but I still don’t have any real concept of what those specific effects would look like together (or if that scenario is even possible in your system). And since this system seems to be a major focus of your combat, I’m assuming that these various states will change regularly for the characters and enemies involved in combat, which will further increase the difficulty of tracking the effects for players.

    Complicated mechanics aren’t inherently a bad thing - I’ve played plenty of RPGs with heaps of moving pieces in combat, and I’ve enjoyed many of them thoroughly. But the key is that you have to be able to maintain clarity at all times, and that’s going to be difficult when you have so many effects capable of stacking modifications on specific other effects.

    These mechanics also have potential to cause issues for you as a developer - balance will be tricky when many of your effects are interconnected, bugs and unintended interactions are more likely to crop up as you tweak individual mechanics, and if you happen to realize that there are gaps in your system’s fundamental logic, you may find yourself without an easy way to recover.

    So to start, I’d recommend thinking about the tutorial phase of your game, which will help you break your mechanics down into their most basic components. Do a little research on what makes a good tutorial, and then try to think about the simplest ways to teach new players your mechanics. Dropping walls of text which cover deeply multifaceted systems won’t usually cut it during a tutorial. You need to think about how to trim your systems and make your individual mechanics as intuitive as possible, and design your mechanics in such a way that you can gradually add layers which build up the complexity. Think about how to break down large systems into smaller subsystems which you can introduce to the player over time.

    Looking at what you’ve got now, I probably won’t be able to memorize the specific effects of all the types of injuries and localizations right away, but because those systems are interdependent, you pretty much have to introduce injuries and localizations simultaneously on top of the specific effects they can cause. You could try to introduce Injuries without introducing Localizations, but if I were to take a head injury before you teach about them, I might be left wondering why I’m suddenly missing so many of my attacks and taking so much more damage. Frankly, I might be left wondering either way if I don’t manage to memorize the list of effects wounds can have at different localizations. And all of this isn’t even factoring in the question of Dolorimetry, which is another beast entirely. Ultimately, the question is how you might go about breaking down and modifying those systems to make them easier for new players to digest.

    Personally, I’d suggest you focus on the Localization system while significantly simplifying the Injury system and dropping Dolorimetry entirely for now. The different types of injuries mostly seem like vehicles for delivering debuffs, but you could just create a generic “Wound” effect instead which applies fixed, specific debuffs to the combatant when applied to different localizations. Head wounds Blind, leg wounds Cripple, etc. Maybe you could reincorporate things like Pain or Dolorimetry as effects which increase the duration of these injuries or the damage the victim receives while they’re afflicted by an injury. You sacrifice some realism, but in exchange, you make your system much more accessible and intuitive (while also reducing the strain of actually designing the systems involved). And there would be any number of possible ways for you to introduce additional mechanics over time which increase the system’s depth, should you desire it.

    Apologies if any of this comes off as harsh - it’s not my intent to put down your hard work, and you’ve clearly got a very intricate vision for your combat. I just wouldn’t want you to be frustrated if you put in all the work to design it and then find that most players can’t grasp it in the same way you can. But I hope this feedback is useful to you somehow!
     
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  3. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    @EmperorEnema, it is a good idea and required a lot of works. I think @Soryuju might panic with the details. If you can do it, it is nothing wrong. All of us here probably do the math and you are just show me the math here that so. I will wait to see your progress.
     
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